Withdrawal from Afghanistan


ALL peace-loving people of the globe would welcome announcement of the US President Donald Trump that the remaining American troops would leave Afghanistan by Christmas. Taliban were quick in appreciating the pronouncement describing it as a positive step towards implementation of Doha Agreement.
There are differing points of view on the issue of withdrawal of occupation troops from Afghanistan, which are reflective of conflicting interests. Some circles believe that hasty withdrawal could be counter-productive for the cause of peace and stability in the war-torn country while others desire continued entanglement of the US in the muddy conflict. Afghan Government is apprehensive that immediate withdrawal would weaken its hold on the power and also undermine its position during the process of intra-Afghan dialogue. There might be some legitimate concerns about hasty withdrawal but is there any justification for prolongation of aggression against a small and weak country? Occupation of Afghanistan by foreign troops is at the core of the conflict in that country and the trouble would continue as long as even remnants of occupation are there as Afghan people have demonstrated throughout their chequered history not to compromise on the territorial integrity and national sovereignty. The United States has already committed in the agreement with Taliban to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 and early withdrawal would be a step in the right direction. However, it is yet to be confirmed whether the US President has taken a practical decision or he was just expressing his views through Twitter as has been his practice. His announcement is also being viewed with skepticism as just hours before Trump’s tweet, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said the United States had less than 5,000 troops in Afghanistan currently and would go down to 2,500 by early next year. In a statement, NATO has insisted that its members would consult and decide together on when to leave Afghanistan. It would soon become clear whether Trump actually meant what he said or it was just an election stunt.